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Press Release

City Man Sentenced to More Than 15 Years in Prison for Back-to-Back Armed Robberies of Northeast Philadelphia Stores

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero announced that Michael Malcolm, 26, of Philadelphia, PA, was sentenced to 185 months’ imprisonment, five years of supervised release, and $300 restitution by United States District Court Judge Gerald J. Pappert for robbing two Northeast Philadelphia stores at gunpoint.

On February 7, 2023, Malcolm pleaded guilty to one count of Hobbs Act robbery, one count of attempted Hobbs Act robbery, and one count of using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. The charges stem from two armed robberies he committed within a matter of minutes on October 5, 2021.

At approximately 8:06 p.m. that evening, Malcolm entered Illadelph by All in One Smoke Shop at 14230 Bustleton Avenue in the Northeast. He asked the clerk for cigarillo wraps and handed over money to pay for them. When the clerk opened the register, Malcolm produced a gun, racked the slide, pointed the weapon at the clerk, and demanded money. After the clerk gave him approximately $300 from the register, Malcolm fled the store.

About 10 minutes later, Malcolm went to Somerton Beverage, located at 13510 Bustleton Avenue, approximately two-tenths of a mile from the smoke shop he’d just robbed. Malcolm entered the store, selected a beer for purchase, and gave money to the clerk. When the clerk didn’t open the register, Malcolm produced his firearm. The clerk yelled “he got a gun” and Malcolm fled the store with the beer.

Shortly after the Somerton Beverage robbery, two officers with the Philadelphia Police Department observed Malcolm standing on the corner at 13501 Bustleton Avenue. When the officers attempted to stop him, he fled on foot. After a short foot chase, Malcolm was arrested. When police officers searched Malcolm, they recovered a loaded 9mm handgun. Officers also seized Malcolm’s jacket, which matched the jacket described by the robbery victims that night.

“Anyone willing to rob a total stranger at gunpoint, let alone try it twice in a matter of minutes, is an obvious threat to our community,” said U.S. Attorney Romero. “The victim clerks in this case were on the job, just trying to make a living, when someone who’d rather steal money than earn it made them fear for their lives. We and our law enforcement partners are working to identify, prosecute, and lock up violent offenders like Michael Malcolm, to make the streets — and the stores — of Philadelphia safer for all.”

“The citizens who live and work in our community deserve to feel safe,” said Wayne A. Jacobs, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Philadelphia. “Through the diligent work and continued collaboration with our law enforcement partners, the FBI will continue to take violent criminals off our streets.”

“I would like to commend the diligent efforts of our law enforcement partners for swiftly bringing Michael Malcolm to justice,” said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel. “These back-to-back armed robberies serve as a stark reminder of the importance of collaborative efforts in ensuring the safety and security of our communities. Through initiatives like Project Safe Neighborhoods, we remain steadfast in our commitment to reducing violent crime and fostering a safer environment for all. The significance of this sentencing cannot be overstated — it underscores the gravity of the defendant’s actions, and sends a clear message that such criminal behavior will not be tolerated in our city.”

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

The case was investigated by the FBI and the Philadelphia Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas M. Zaleski.

Updated March 26, 2024

Violent Crime